16) Seismic evaluation of a green building structural system: ICF grid walls (USA, 2009)

ABSTRACT: The demand for green buildings construction is growing from commercial multi-story buildings to condominiums and single family houses. One of the emerging structural systems that addresses sustainability from the structural and construction point of view has been the insulated concrete form (ICF) grid walls, which are built using prefabricated stay-in-place forms that also provide improved thermal insulation over conventional methods, thereby reducing the energy requirements throughout the life of the building. The structural components of the ICF wall consist of horizontal and vertical reinforced concrete cores. From the engineering point of view and when compared to conventional construction, reduced environmental impact can be realized from lower consumption of traditional materials such as concrete and from lower generation of waste through the near elimination of formwork. The awareness and demographic propensity toward sustainability in urban areas can overlap with areas of significant seismic risk, creating a societal need for implementation despite the lack historical performance. The designers and suppliers are unsure of the path toward approval as this type of construction falls outside the applicability of current building code and limited guidance exist on the steps needed. This paper outlines the development of an experimental program aimed to investigate the seismic performance through full-scale cyclic tests. The preliminary force deformation results from a cyclically loaded ICF grid walls are outlined, where the overall behavior indicated that the system could potentially lead to successful implementation in areas of high seismicity.